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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS SERVICES
210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


For immediate use

March 14, 2002 -- No. 151

Not for Publication

‘Kibich Damu’ -- Carolina for Kibera to host rally for East Africa’s largest slum

Polk Place, near the South Building steps
Monday, March 18, 5 p.m.

"Kibich Damu" is Shen’g for "Kibera Blood," a youth expression of solidarity through survival in Kibera, East Africa’s largest slum and the source of conflict between Muslim and Christian ethnic groups in Nairobi, Kenya. Kibera also has been the site of an increasingly successful project with direct ties to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Rye Barcott, a 2001 UNC graduate and co-founder of Carolina For Kibera (CFK), returns to Chapel Hill next week (March 17-23) with two project youth leaders from Kibera -- Salim Mohamed and John Kanyua. Mohamed and Barcott will lead a Polk Place rally for the project that is open to the public Monday (March 18) at 5 p.m. The presentation will examine violence, soccer, and youth culture in the Kibera slum of Nairobi. It will be of particular interest to people involved in international development, conflict resolution and addressing global youth problems.

Funded by generous U.S. donors, next week’s trip is the first U.S. visit for Mohamed and Kanyua. Mohamed, 25, is an orphaned Muslim street boy turned community organizer who now is program manager of CFK-Kenya. Kanyua, 24, is the CFK-Kenya youth coordinator. He has lived alone in Kibera since age 13 and is a star soccer player applying to UNC and Shaw universities for an undergraduate scholarship.

Barcott, now a U.S. Marine lieutenant, met Mohamed while studying in Nairobi as an undergraduate through the Burch Fellows Program, a privately funded initiative recognizing extraordinary students who demonstrate resourcefulness and imagination to support self-designed off-campus experiences. Together, they established Carolina For Kibera Inc. last summer as a non-governmental organization in Kibera and an American non-profit with offices at UNC’s University Center for International Studies. The program uses sports to promote community development, youth leadership and ethno-religious cooperation in one of the world’s largest and most volatile Third World slums.

Next week, Mohamed and Barcott will make more than a dozen presentations to Carolina classes and student organizations. The project’s Board of Directors will meet for the first time Saturday (March 23). And project supporters will gather for a reception Saturday (March 23) from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Horace Williams House. Mohamed and Barcott are available for interviews in between these and other activities. Prior to the Chapel Hill visit, Barcott can be reached at (703) 303-5295 (cell phone), or by e-mail at

CFK Inc. also is a UNC student organization led by Junior Neha Singh. This summer at least four Carolina undergraduates will travel to Kibera and volunteer with CFK Inc.

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University Center for International Studies contact: Kim Chapman, (919) 962-6860

News Services contact: Mike McFarland, (919) 962-8593